On January 1, China will no longer be accepting waste from other countries, with Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia likely to feel the brunt of the new policy
Although the three countries have taken steps to deal with mounting trash, corruption and weak policies could doom them to remain buried in refuse
A river canal in Ho Chi Minh City choked by mostly plastic waste. Photo: Sen Nguyen
China, which used to be the world’s salvage king, is shutting its door to all waste imports starting the first day of the new year. The recent announcement triggered the same kind of anxiety among waste-exporting countries as in 2018, when China enacted its “Operation National Sword” policy, which banned the import of 24 types of solid waste, including plastic waste.
The 2018 policy switch caused the world’s major waste-exporting countries – Europe, Britain, the US and Australia – to scramble for alternative destinations, including
nations like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, which quickly became overwhelmed by the volume of refuse they received. Soon after, these countries began to impose their own bans and restrictions on waste imports.
With China’s latest announcement about a blanket waste ban, concerns have been raised about the effects this might have on Southeast Asian countries, where limited waste-management capacities are common.
Plastic pollution plagues Southeast Asia amid Covid-19 lockdowns
, which borders China and was one of the countries most affected by Beijing’s 2018 waste policy, might not be ready for more imported waste. According to a national report released last month, various types of solid waste imported for manufacturing do not only not meet the national technical standard in regards to
but also put more pressure on waste-management services in the country.
Meanwhile, most of the domestically made solid waste processing equipment is unsynchronized, incomplete and not yet common in the country – going by the National Environmental Status Report in 2019 issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. No specific national guidelines exist on what technology to use to treat municipal solid waste.
Since 2018, the Vietnamese government has kept a tight rein of its scrap imports through various policies, including amending the country’s technical standard to ensure only quality scrap is allowed in and cracking down on illegal shipments of thousands of containers of paper, plastic and metal scrap. Vietnam imported 9.2 million tons of scrap in the same year, a 14 per cent year-on-year increase, according to Vietnam customs statistics.
More than 71% of wards and communes in Ho Chi Minh City have been recognised as “clean” areas – one of the outstanding results of the 200-day emulation movement held to celebrate its upcoming municipal Party Congress.
The movement also had a positive spill-over effect, helping the city take steps towards becoming “a rubbish-free city”.
Located in the heart of the downtown area, Nguyen Thai Binh Market in District 1 used to be a pollution black spot. Today, though, it’s become much cleaner. After every market session, under the supervision of the market’s management board, traders voluntarily clean up any waste around their area.
Several provinces may be investing too much in incineration, overlooking improvements in waste sorting and recycling.
The vision to make China an “ecological civilisation” has been espoused at the highest political level. It includes, among other things, efficiently using resources, reducing waste and using extracted materials in a circular manner. Reaching these objectives will require timely and well-planned investments in waste-management capacity.China has invested largely in incineration over the past decade to help manage the massive growth in the amount of municipal solid waste, produced by homes and businesses. The latest government data, from 2018, shows that 99 per cent of collected waste was managed, up from 67 per cent in just 10 years. Tiếp tục đọc “Is China building more waste incinerators than it needs?”→
The slow development of a waste collection, transport and treatment system in Vietnam is caused mostly by limited financial resources.
According to the Directorate General of Environment, 13,000 tons of waste is generated every day in HCM City, including 8,300 tons of domestic waste, 1,500-2,000 tons of industrial waste, 1,200-1,600 tons of waste from construction works, 22 tons of medical waste and 2,000 tons of sludge of different kinds.
A fast growing mountain of toxic e-waste is polluting the planet and damaging health, says new report
At least $10bn (£7.9bn) worth of gold, platinum and other precious metals are dumped every year in the growing mountain of electronic waste that is polluting the planet, according to a new UN report.
A record 54m tonnes of “e-waste” was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21% in five years, the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor report found. The 2019 figure is equivalent to 7.3kg for every man, woman and child on Earth, though use is concentrated in richer nations. The amount of e-waste is rising three times faster than the world’s population, and only 17% of it was recycled in 2019.
Electronic and electrical goods, from phones and computers to refrigerators and kettles, have become indispensable in modern societies and enhance lives. But they often contain toxic chemicals, and soaring production and waste damages human health and the environment, and fuels the climate crisis.
The report blames lack of regulation and the short lifespan of products that are hard or impossible to repair. Experts called the situation a “wholly preventable global scandal”.
People in northern Europe produced the most e-waste – 22.4kg per person in 2019. The amount was half as much in eastern Europe. Australians and New Zealanders disposed of 21.3kg per person, while in the US and Canada the figure was 20.9kg. Averages across Asia and Africa were much lower, at 5.6kg and 2.5kg per person respectively.E-waste contains materials including copper, iron, gold, silver and platinum, which the report gives a conservative value of $57bn. But most are dumped or burned rather than being collected for recycling. Precious metals in waste are estimated to be worth $14bn, but only $4bn-worth is recovered at the moment. Tiếp tục đọc “$10bn of precious metals dumped each year in electronic waste, says UN”→
LINKOPING, Sweden — In a cavernous room filled with garbage, a giant mechanical claw reaches down and grabs five tons of trash. As a technician in a control room maneuvers the spiderlike crane, the claw drops its moldering harvest down a 10-story shaft into a boiler that is hotter than 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. A fetid odor emanates from plastic trash bags discarded by hundreds of thousands of homes.
Stretch of road laid at DEEP C Industrial Zone in Hai Phong.
Ambassador of Belgium to Vietnam, H.E. Paul Jansen, attended the inauguration of the first asphalt road using recycled plastics on October 1 in the northern city of Hai Phong, together with representatives from the Hai Phong People’s Committee and related departments.
Dow and DEEP C Industrial Zones completed the 200-meter section of road enhanced with recycled plastics at the DEEP C Industrial Zone in the city. The project is a collaborative effort between Dow and DEEP C to provide innovative solutions to address plastics waste and advance a circular economy in Vietnam. Tiếp tục đọc “Asphalt road using recycled plastics laid”→
Trong một lần dự lễ phát động ra quân toàn quốc phong trào chống rác thải nhựa, có sự tham dự của Thủ tướng Chính phủ Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, lãnh đạo các Bộ, ban, ngành, doanh nghiệp và đông đảo người dân, phóng viên Báo Điện tử VietnamPlus đã được lãnh đạo một doanh nghiệp thu gom rác tiết lộ thông tin gây “sốc” rằng: “Khí thế như vậy nhưng sự thực là Hà Nội sắp ngập rác rồi nhà báo ạ. Chúng tôi (những doanh nghiệp lĩnh vực môi trường-PV) không kham nổi nữa, chắc phải ‘trả rác’ cho thành phố…” Tiếp tục đọc “‘Ma trận đấu thầu tập trung’: Hà Nội nguy cơ ‘thất thủ’ vì rác thải”→
Phong trào “chống rác thải nhựa” ngày càng nở rộ khắp tỉnh Đắk Lắk bằng rất nhiều sáng kiến khác nhau.
Tại trường tiểu học Hoàng Việt (TP Buôn Ma Thuột), với video clip dự án rất sinh động đáng yêu mang tên “Phân loại rác thải-hành động nhỏ, ý nghĩa lớn”, đội “Voi rừng” gồm 4 học sinh nhỏ đã vinh dự được Ban tổ chức Phong trào trẻ em toàn thế giới Design for change gửigiấy mời sang Roma-Ý dự sự kiện “Kiến tạo để thay đổi” vào cuối tháng 11/2019.
Gần như toàn bộ núi rác nghìn tấn đổ xuống vườn dân ở thung lũng
Bằng thiết bị ghi hình từ trên cao, phóng viên Tuổi Trẻ Online ghi nhận không phải một phần bãi tập trung rác của TP Đà Lạt (bãi rác Cam Ly, P.5, Đà Lạt) mà gần như toàn bộ khu tập trung rác đổ xuống vườn dân.
Núi rác sạt một đường dài từ đỉnh xuống thung lũng, nơi có vườn hoa của dân trông như suối rác.
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HÀ NỘI — Villages across the country have benefited from the country’s economic development, however, many do not have measures in place to deal with environmental protection.
The village of Trát Cầu in Hà Nội, which produces blankets, bed sheets and pillows, is a typical example.
Nguyễn Quang Thà, chairman of the Trát Cầu Traditional Villages Association, told Tiền Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that over the past 20 years, more and more foreign enterprises have invested in the village.
Now about 30 enterprises from Japan and South Korea are working there.